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Norway increases efforts in vulnerable regions

In line with its policy to focus on fragile states, the Norwegian government is increasing its cooperation and presence in vulnerable and conflict-affected states, and areas in Europe’s Southern Neighborhood. More specifically, it will target the Middle-East, North Africa, and the Sahel region. As part of its efforts, the government is opening two new Norwegian embassies, one in Mali and one in Tunisia.

News report – Ministry of Foreign Affairs [in Norwegian]

Norway

Norway publishes new roadmap for foreign and security policy

On April 21, 2017, the Norwegian government published a White Paper detailing the strategy and plan moving forward for Norway's foreign and security policy. According to the document, the government will strengthen its European cooperation and increase its efforts and presence in vulnerable states, especially in the south and east of Europe. In parallel, the country plans on maintaining and further developing its transatlantic cooperation.

Parliament report– Norwegian Government [in Norwegian]

Norway

Norway’s net ODA has risen almost 8% in 2016 due to increased refugee costs

Norway’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) increased almost 8% in 2016 - from US$4.3 billion in 2015 to about US$4.6 billion in 2016. This is largely due to a sharp rise in the cost of hosting refugees in Norway, according to preliminary data from the OECD. Norway continued to be among the few countries in the OECD's Development Assistance Committee (DAC) to meet the 0.7% threshold ratio of ODA to GNI; at 1.11%, Norway is the largest DAC donor as a proportion of national income.

OECD

Norway

Norway publishes White Paper on SDGs and development policy

The Norwegian government develops White Papers (Stortingsmelding) for parliament on matters that do not require a vote, to inform members on a particular field of work, and to shape future policy. According to a new one the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and development, Norway will focus its development policy on three thematic areas: health, education, and climate. It will also continue to base ODA on results, increase efforts to fight pandemics, focus on its vulnerable states' strategy, and work to expand a knowledge bank on global health and education based in Norad, Norway's development cooperation agency. Norway will also replace its 12 focus countries with 20-25 partner countries, and has pledged to reduce its 4,000 ODA agreements by 20%.

White paper – Norwegian Government [in Norwegian]

Norway

Germany supports US$1.5 billion funding call for Lake Chad region

Germany, Norway, Nigeria, and the UN jointly organized an international donors conference in Oslo on February 23, with the view to raise US$1.5 billion for humanitarian aid and emergency response in the Lake Chad region. A spokesman for the German Foreign Ministry said the aim of the conference was to draw up a package of measures for the region involving "a broad alliance of backers for the humanitarian effort." The Ministry further emphasized that the underlying causes of the misery and distress, including climate change and poverty, need to be tackled. 

Newspaper article – Deutsche Welle

 

Germany Norway

Norway increases funding for women’s reproductive health, including abortion

Norway has announced NOK85 million (US$11 million) in increases in ODA for family planning and safe abortions for 2017. These increases are to help ensure that organizations working for safe abortion and reproductive health can continue their work internationally in the wake of the reinstated US policy that cuts US global health assistance to organizations promoting abortion globally. The Norwegian Government has outlined several channels for this funding: NGOs, after a selection process certifying they are “effective and show good results”;  the Dutch-led initiative ‘She Decides’;  and the UN Population Fund (UNFPA). The exact origin of the funds is yet unclear.  

Norway has also initiated dialogue with other Nordic countries to strengthen joint-efforts to counter funding cuts induced by the American policy.

Press release – Norwegian Government

 

 

Norway Global health

Norwegian MFA develops White Paper on development policy with civil society and businesses

In advance of the release of the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ (MFA) White Paper on development policy in April/May 2017, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Børge Brende, met with members of civil society for a second consultation on January 31, 2017. They discussed how joint efforts taken by the public sector, civil society, and businesses can contribute to sustainable development and poverty reduction in recipient countries. Among topics highlighted were: how new partnerships and thinking are decisive in the fight to reduce poverty and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals; how the public sector, civil society and business need to more closey collaborate; and how the private sector is the most important driving factor of economic growth and development, and has made it possible to reduce poverty by creating jobs.

Statement – Norwegian Government

Norway

28 CSOs call for European donor countries to step up support for Syrian refugees

28 civil society organizations (CSOs), including World Vision, the Danish Refugee Council, Oxfam, and Save the Children, have urged European donor countries to step up their support for Syrian refugees. This call to action occured in advance of the Helsinki conference ‘Supporting Syrians and the Region’ about long-term solutions for the refugee crisis, which took place on January 24, 2017. It also marks one year since the London conference, at which countries pledged US$12.1 billion in grants and $41 billion in loans for 2016 to 2020 in support of refugees fleeing Syria. Now the CSOs encourage donor countries to redouble their support: to make the total amount of loans already pledged available; to commit additional longer-term funding; and to ramp up efforts to resettle the Syrian refugee population. To date, only US$3.8 billion, or about 9% of the commitments, have been made available.

Press Release - World Vision

Norway kicks-off fund to protect tropical forests and peatlands

At the World Economic Forum this year in Davos, the Norwegian Government announced an initial US$100 million commitment (around NOK800 million) for a new international fund to jump start commercial investments in deforestation-free agriculture in tropical countries. This is a partnership with the Dutch organization ‘Sustainable Trade Initiative’ (IDA), the UN Environment Program (UNEP), and the Global Environment Facility (GEF), and is supported by a wide range of international consumer goods manufacturers and civil society organizations. The fund aims to contribute to the preservation of 5 million hectares of forests and peatlands and reach US$400 million in investments by 2020.

News Release - World Economic Forum

Netherlands Norway Agriculture

CEPI is launched at the World Economic Forum in Davos

The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) was launched at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos. The Coalition was founded by the governments of India and Norway, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Wellcome Trust. Initial investments were announced at the WEF from the governments of Germany, Japan, Norway, and the two participating foundations. Startup funding amounts to US$460 million. 

Norway pledged NOK1 billion (around US$120 million) for the coming five-year period; Japan will contribute US$25 million a year over the next five years (totaling US$125 million); Germany announced a €10 million contribution (US$11 million) in 2017 with further allocations to be announced later. The Wellcome Trust and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will both invest US$100 million in the coming five years. India, one of the initiators of the coalition, is expected to announce its contribution shortly. The European Commission has announced its intention to co-finance actions with CEPI.

CEPI will work to develop vaccines against Lassa fever, MERS and Nipah, three diseases that have the potential to become major epidemics. The ambition is to have two candidate vaccines for each of these diseases tested within five years. The coalition will also make use of developments in adaptable vaccine technology to facilitate rapid vaccine development when unknown viruses strike.

Media release - CEPI